We don’t know why Schubert never finished his B Minor symphony. This has been one of music’s great unanswered questions…
Robert Schumann, who helped to discover Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 (Great), surely is right in wondering how long the work “might have lain buried in dust and darkness” if it weren’t for his efforts. When he uncovered the symphony among the composer’s papers in 1837, he must have been simply dumbstruck.
The Trout Quintet, which the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform March 13-18 with guest conductor and soloist Mitsuko Uchida, represents Schubert at his most natural, unaffected and carefree. It represents music of Schubert’s innocence, before he contracted his fatal illness and began to see life, and therefore music, in a darker and more complex light.
Of all the great and much-loved composers, Schubert is perhaps the least known. This season, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra explores the genius of Schubert’s output.
Never before has the Chicago Symphony Orchestra focused so much attention on Franz Schubert — a composer at once so beloved and yet so little known — as it will this season. The heart of this Schubert feast is the CSO’s complete traversal of the composer’s symphonies, conducted by music director Riccardo Muti.
Mahler’s Ninth is permeated by reflections on death. But as tempting as it is to read the work as a valedictory, there is no hard evidence that the composer believed it was such.
Schubert’s Mass in A-Flat Major, which the CSO will perform Feb. 6-8, thoroughly shows the composer’s genius for melody. Riccardo Muti calls it “the door to another world.”